The Dish: Pop-Up Parties

by Columnist

The No. 68 Project brings together chefs, mixologists and speakers for one-night-only soirees.
By Nevin Martell

Pop-up restaurants have been fashionable in Europe and South America for several years and now they’re coming to the District. Hosan Lee and Jill Richmond of The No. 68 Project started throwing one-night-only dinner parties in London several years ago and felt that Washington was the logical starting point for their American efforts. “New York may be the cultural capitol of the world,” says Richmond. “But D.C. is the decision-making capitol of the world.”

At The No. 68 Project events, diners are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between a chef, a mixologist and a cultural expert, who all work around a theme. Though not all of the events have been announced yet, the initial dates and collaborators have been fleshed out. The first dinner on February 20 sees Top Chef All-Stars contestant/Graffiato owner Mike Isabella paired with The Passenger’s Derek Brown and begs the question, “How do you adapt to life’s shifting forces?” The second event on February 27 sees Againn’s executive chef Wes Morton working with mixologist Jared Boller from NYC’s Lani Kai and asks diners “What are your biggest fears, and how do you respond?” Lee and Richmond say diners should expect tip-to-tail dining featuring leftfield ingredients, such as bone marrow and uni (Japanese sea urchin).

To add an air of mystery to the proceedings, potential attendees have to apply to get an invite by answering four questions, including “What is your idea of earthly happiness?” and “Living or dead, who would you invite to your ideal dinner party?” This application is to ensure that these get-togethers feel friendly and are intellectually stimulating. “A dinner party is about the people that are around you and the conversations that come up,” says Lee. “So you have to gauge the potential quality of dialogue. This application sets the stage. We don’t want this to feel like you’re going to a restaurant, we want it to be like you’re stepping into someone’s home.”

The No. 68 Project parties continue every Sunday at Fathom Creative in Logan Circle until April 17 and cost $155 per person.

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